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Rio Tinto Kennecott is getting out of Daybreak.
The mining company said Friday it is selling its massive real-estate development beneath the Bingham Canyon Mine to Värde Partners, an alternative investment firm with roots in Minneapolis.
The price was not disclosed.
Included in the sale are 500 finished home sites, 2,500 acres of undeveloped land, the Glass House Information Center, the SoDa Row retail district, Oquirrh Lake and associated secondary water assets, the companies said in a news release. The sale is likely to be completed this summer.
Nigel Steward, Rio Tinto Kennecott's managing director, said the divestment will generate "cash flow and flexibility as we streamline our business and focus on mining."
The mining industry has been in turmoil for months, with tough times likely to continue for a while. Industry giants such as Arch Coal and Peabody have been driven into bankruptcy by plunging commodity prices, and Rio Tinto Kennecott has been reeling as well.
In March, the company laid off 200 employees, leaving it with about 1,620 workers in Utah.
City officials in South Jordan, where Daybreak is located, do not expect the sale to cause many changes on the ground, said city spokeswoman Tina Brown.
"Essentially, the only thing that's changed here is the name," she said, noting that city officials knew for some time of sales talks with unknown suitors. "As far as Daybreak is concerned, it will be business as usual. The same people will be running it. They'll have the same rights and obligations that Kennecott had."
Founded in Minneapolis in 1993 by three investors who initially focused on distressed assets, Värde now has primary offices in the Twin Cities, London and Singapore, plus secondary offices in New York, Tokyo, Sydney, and five European cities.
Värde's website said it has diversified its holdings through 15 funds that have invested more than $40 billion.
The Daybreak news release said "certain funds" managed by Värde will take control of the development and its assets.
A new company, Daybreak Communities, will be created to carry out plans to develop the remaining 2,500 acres and operate the community.
With key members of Daybreak's current management team retaining their positions in this new company, Rio Tinto Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett said, the transition "will continue the delivery of the community vision in future villages, a town center and the land west of Mountain View Corridor."
Ali Haroon, Värde's global head of real estate, called Daybreak an "attractive property" whose purchase "aligns with our vision of owning top-quality real-estate assets. It's a great fit in [our] overall real estate strategy."
Added Brendan Bosman, Värde's managing director on this investment: "We are focused on ensuring that Daybreak will remain a thriving master-planned community."
Rio Tinto Kennecott still has about 96,000 acres along the eastern foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains, Bennett said.